Horror comes in all sorts of varieties. There’s monsters, aliens, slashers, zombies and more – each thing uniquely terrifying in its own way. However, in Rory Walsh’s film “Lesser Miracles,” horror hits home in a very real way as we slowly see the family structure fall apart with shocking and violent results.
Riley Carpenter (Kathryn Lyn) loves her family. She has a beautiful baby daughter, a caring husband and frequently visits her mother. However, after a freak car accident, everything begins to change. With the presence of an internal demon awakened inside of Riley, she suddenly has a broader view of the world around her and finds out that things may not be as good as they seem.
It’s the descent into madness, the destruction of the family structure that fuels the horror in “Lesser Miracles,” and it’s one of those films where you can’t help but feel bad for every single character at one point or another. There are no villains in this film; it is more of a series of tragic mistakes that ultimately build up into a terrifying conclusion, and everybody pays the price.
Writer/director/editor Rory Walsh certainly assembled a stellar team to pull this off. The talent both on screen and off is abundant with unbelievable performances all around. In particular, the trio of leads are dynamic. Kathryn Lyn plays the disturbed Riley with a subtle edge that gets sharper as the film goes on. She is a terrific leading lady, and with a performance like this we certainly hope to see more insanity from her in the horror world. Opposite her, Cameron Bender plays husband Morgan with genuine heart and sincerity. The chemistry of these two is wonderful. The wild card is Haley Mancini who plays the other woman, Denise Baker. Mancini is brilliant as the seductive yet insecure Denise and really steals the show. There are several moments in her performance where I really felt a sinking in my heart.
On the other side of the camera, Walsh gives us a simple yet excellent story that is masterfully crafted. Along with beautiful cinematography from Terrance Stewart, an absolutely haunting soundtrack and some pretty impressive use of scenery, this film sets the bar for indie filmmakers pretty high.
“Lesser Miracles” is one of those films that is disturbing and heavy, a powerful piece of work that sticks with you long after you’re done watching. This film is more moving than it is scary and the ending packs a certain punch that most films wouldn’t dare swing. It’s unique in the sense that while it does have some brutality, the real horror is in the downfall of these poor souls. You can’t help but watch and pray that everyone will be all right, that everything will work out in the end and that these people can continue with their lives in peace. But sadly, that simply isn’t the case. This is horror, and if there’s any lesson that “Lesser Miracles” can teach us about horror, it’s that nobody is safe and that not all miracles are the good ones.